Plans are submitted for the transformation of former council offices in the city centre
PLANS for the redevelopment of Saxon Court in Central Milton Keynes are being considered by Milton Keynes councillors.
Developer First Base and investor Patron Capital are hoping for a decision in November. The 2.35-acre site, which will be known as MK Gateway, will see the sustainable redevelopment of the original Saxon Court building into a future-focused Knowledge hub and the development of two new buildings: the Shed – a space for local businesses to make and create – and the Village, which will represent a UK first in the future of urban living.
The development will see the retention, refurbishment and extension of the original Saxon Court building, delivering high-tech office space and flexible co-working areas.
The existing atrium will be revitalised as an indoor public square with local independent food, drink and leisure space connected to an outdoor ‘village green’ which will host pop-up activities and events.
A comprehensive consultation programme following the acquisition of the site in October last year saw mixed use developer First Base and investor Patron Capital engage with local businesses, residents and stakeholders, with more than 6,000 responses received.
Comments and suggestions made during these consultations have influenced the final plans, created by globally renowned architects RSH+P. This includes a focus on sustainability, new spaces for local businesses and community use, space for public art and affordable housing.
The proposed development, with 288 apartments to rent, is set to be the first in Central Milton Keynes to comply with Milton Keynes Council’s affordable housing policy, with 31% of homes available for a discounted market rent. The Village will feature 11 vertical gardens, totalling 4,500 sq ft, for residents to share and enjoy.
The investment totals £180 million and is planned to create more than 2,000 jobs. The Shed will offer dynamic workshop space for local SME and businesses from all industries will benefit from the flexible space, which will nurture and support new innovations and collaborations to drive business growth in the region, say the developers.
MK Gateway is forecast to deliver more than £300 million in social value over the next 20 years, providing long-term community benefits from local employment and training opportunities and improvements to local health, wellbeing, and the environment.
First Base’s project director Steve Eccles said: “We are thrilled to have submitted our proposals for this iconic site, which will deliver new jobs, homes and new spaces for local people to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to meet with us and comment on our proposals. This valuable feedback has truly helped to shape our proposals.
“We believe this highly sustainable development will support Milton Keynes’ growth ambitions, celebrate the city’s innovative spirit and generate significant long-term benefits.”
Patron Capital director Kevin Cooke added: “Building on the significant role it has played in the city’s history, Saxon Court will continue to be an iconic part of Milton Keynes’ future. We are delighted to be investing in the city’s evolution as a key global knowledge hub, located at the heart of the UK’s Innovation Corridor.
“These proposals represent the scale of our ambition and confidence in Milton Keynes, as a city that fosters the successful growth of talent, creativity and innovation.”